Arsenal continued to find ways to get to goal only to be thwarted by poor finishing and Kasper’s Schmeichel’s goalkeeping. When the son of the Danish legend failed, Jonathan Howson was at hand to effect a goal line clearance.
Then came the moment which changed the match. Denilson stuck his leg out in unthinking fashion to trip Max Gradel after the Leeds winger got past him. Phil Dowd had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Robert Snodgrass duly converted although Wojciech Szczesny got a hand to it to put Leeds up.
Denilson should be benched and then transferred. It is still a mystery why Wenger continues to repose so much faith in him.
The Gunners had to wait almost 40 agonizing minutes to equalize. Wenger had to send in Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas to the rescue. The winger turned on the jets after Bendtner fed him the ball and was brought down by Ben Parker.
Fabregas stroked in an assured PK to ensure Arsenal’s visit to Elland Road. The Gunners were almost awarded a penalty previously through Walcott’s theatrical abilities for which he apologized on the club’s website after the match was over. Refreshing bit of candour.
“I want to apologise to the managers, because I dived,” said Walcott on the Arsenal website. “I was trying to win the penalty.”
Szczesny continued his impressive form in goal and came with a spectacular save to deny Luciano Becchio. On the other hand, Arshavin could not take advantage of his start. He seems to have lost his way and clearly is not enjoying his football. Nicklas Bendtner continues to be played bizarrely out of position as winger – he is too slow and lacks the crossing ability. He could have won the match with one last gasp as Fabregas put him through with a beautifully floated ball but his finish was awful.